05 Nov 2022

A sense of occasion prevails in the city of Granada

Months, weeks and days of preparation over, on the evening of Saturday 5th November, a splendid opening ceremony marked the official commencement of the Andalucia 2022 World Para Table Tennis Championships in the southern Spanish city of Granada; the time had come.

A resounding countdown commenced proceedings, immediately following flashing lights that created a dramatic effect.

Oscar J. Barroso / RFETM

Stunning, the sense of theatre captured the attention; next there was a change in mood, a total contrast. Tradition prevailed, bright colours adorned the arena, the Alvaro Martinete Flamenco dancers moved gracefully to the beat of the drum.

Then, Miguel Angel Machado, President of the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation, welcomed his guests.

Miguel Angel Machado, President of the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation (Oscar J. Barroso / RFETM)

“As the president of the Royal Spanish Federation, today is a very special day for us. I would like to welcome all of you to Spain, Andalucia, and specifically to the city of Granada, a city that has welcomed us with open arms so that you can enjoy being here for the next few days. It has been so many years working in collaboration with our athletes so that today our dream, and yours, has come true. This dream is to participate and organise a world championships in our country, a world championships that surely all of you will always remember.”

He was followed by Pablo Perez, ITTF Para Table Tennis Director.

Pablo Perez, ITTF Para Table Tennis Director (Oscar J. Barroso / RFETM)

“I am delighted to be with you in the beautiful city of Granada. The world’s best Para Athletes are gathered here for this quadrennial event: 326 players from 51 teams! It is not an easy mission to have a competition of this size in the aftermath of the global pandemic. But Spain knows what it means to host major table tennis events after delivering so many over the last ten years. When I see this venue, I know we are about to witness the best ever world Para table tennis championships, and we are providing the players with the stage their stunning performances deserved.”

Vacating the podium, immediately ensuing, it was the turn of the athletes; a total of 51 players, representing each team competing in Granada marched proudly into the arena, all duly welcomed to warm applause.

José Manuel Ruiz, representing Team Spain (Oscar J. Barroso / RFETM)

The participants welcomed; further speeches followed. Maria de Nova, Director Central de Promotion Deportiva Junta de Andalucia addressed all present.

“We are delighted to host this event. We welcome you to our land Andalucia and to our city Granada, a city with a great cultural, gastronomic, social and sporting richness.”

She was followed by Francisco Cuenca, the Mayor of Granada.

“Granada has been an example of peaceful coexistence of cultures for centuries, and a trailblazing city in Spain in the field of Paralympic sports. We are sure that we will witness a great sporting event during the following days. I hereby declare open the 2022 World Para Table Tennis Championships.”

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General News Andalucia World Para Championships 2022 Para Table Tennis

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